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Making it through the season in holiday traffic mode - Gerry Yandel

That's it. I'm done ...

finished. And, earlier this year than last, too.

Oh, I'm not talking about Christmas shopping. I mean I am finished with traffic.

That's it. I quit. I surrender.

You want to jump into that space in front of me in the long line of traffic up by the mall? Have at it. Happy holidays.

(Nah, don't worry about your turn-signal, I like puzzle games.)

Trying to turn left from the right lane? Wanna do it through a major intersection?

No problemo. How can I be of assistance?

Forced to careen through heavy interstate traffic at 80 mph so you can only be 10 minutes late rather than 15?

Cut me off. I insist! My Christmas gift to you.

This is the season for giving.

So, I give up.

Every year around this time, I go into holiday traffic mode. That is, I try to drive only in the far right lane while on the interstate, and I try to fill my head with sugar plums, happy songs and extrasensory perception for that crazed Christmas shopper behind the wheel on all surface roads.

It isn't that I can't handle the pressure and stress of holiday traffic.

I can dodge and weave with the best of them ... as I constantly have to do, spending as much time in my car as I do.

When I moved down here from Atlanta a decade ago, I was used to walking, riding MARTA or driving short distances to go out and about.

I learned quickly once we arrived in the exurban sprawl just how nerve-wracking the daily commute could be.

For sheer terror, few things can rival the feeling of looking in the rear-view mirror to find an F-350 just a few inches off your rear-bumper, intimidating you into another lane, at, oh, 70 mph. The fact that it is piloted by a tiny person peering intensely, and barely, over the dashboard, lil' hands over their heads as they clasp the steering wheel of a bazillion-ton truck, just adds to the visceral gut-wrenching fear.

Thrills and chills also readily abound on highways and roadways.

Nothing adds excitement to a ride like the happy campers who tool down the interstate at 35 mph, seemingly oblivious to the random chaos directly in their wake of speeding screeching cars trying to avoid them. Or, who can forget the blissful souls who, unknowing or uncaring of the approaching traffic, putter slo-o-o-wly out into the thoroughfare, as if gently guided by wind power instead of gasoline.

Heck, just the other day, I saw a couple of people waving the universal symbol of one-fingered Christmas cheer to each other as they mouthed some enraged dispute over a parking space.

Nope, not for me ... I'll just be another driver hidden behind the dark color and anonymity of my Honda Accord.

You won't be seeing me in the fast lane again.... until Jan. 3

Gerry Yandel is the Daily Herald city editor. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or gyandel@henryherald.com .